[kon-floo-uh ns]
1. a flowing together of two or more streams, rivers,or the like: the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippirivers.
2. their place of junction: St. Louis is at the confluence of the Missouri andMississippi rivers.
3. a body of water formed by the flowing together oftwo or more streams, rivers, or the like.
4. a coming together of people or things; concourse.
5. a crowd or throng; assemblage.


“Everything hits at once. What we needs is just what we wants.” ~ Spoon

It is true unto the point of being tiresome cliché that events never pause, nor helpfully spread themselves into manageable intervals. In many cases this is exhausting, overwhelming, and awful. No breath-catching, no respite, no moment to reflect and choose to see an upside; merely a never ending swell of the sea relentlessly pounding the shore.

On rare occasions, it happens that some of the things happening cast all the other things into a brilliant new focus. Or by delightful happenstance, suddenly make everything easier, more beautiful, and full of new possibility.

For a fairly long stretch of time it has been the latter case, and I have been waiting with as much patience as possible either for a quiet moment in which to rest, or for something uplifting to counterbalance the relentlessness of it all.

I pause in this moment to once again acknowledge that my most focused intent always seems to yield the most spectacular results. The longer the outcome takes to manifest, the more marvelous it seems to be when it finally does appear.

So then, in this moment where the sun is being eclipsed by a super moon on the first day of spring, I say my gracious thanks for all of the things that are happening right this very moment.

the rook

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi


I had occasion to go out of town last weekend. It was a business trip I selected mostly for the virtue of it being in Bend; which has many fine things to recommend it. Including:
  • Access to Mt. Bachelor for late season skiing
  • Beautiful weather and high desert scenery
  • A variety of fine golf courses
  • Excellent hiking and cycling opportunities
  • A dear friend as resident


So, I packed my Koko to the brim with bicycle, golf clubs, running shoes, Clementine and my sense of adventure. I had somewhat impetuously decided to stay up almost all night long the previous evening, (that being a tale for another time) so was running a bit short on sleep when I set out Friday afternoon.

I made fantastic time, as it seems Koko runs best at 85mph and delights in hitting 95 to pass. Pretty much everyone. It was an exhilarating drive.

However, though I had made dinner plans, upon arrival I was so beat that I simply found my hotel and crawled gratefully into the large soft bed and knew no more that day.

The next day was when I was forcefully reminded that though Bend has many fine things to recommend it (see above) it also has something which can make it hard to enjoy any of those fine things if you are a delicate flower, such as myself. Namely:

There is no air in the air over there.

Take a girl who is already asthmatic and oxygen deprived and then jack her up 3.353 ft over the elevation in which she has stewed her whole life and you will discover she is exhausted. Pretty much constantly. Just sitting there.

After I’d spent all day in my conference I was eager to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery in active-like fashion. Alas, my bike tires were flat and I had no presta valve pump handy. 

(Sad trombone)

Nevermind! My run will require no more gear than the shoes on my feet! Off I go!! Right up until the end of mile 1 where the valiant struggle my lungs were making to extract rare and precious oxygen from the thin and indifferent atmosphere caused a stitch in my side such that it was much as though Mother Nature decided I have asked too much of her with my preternaturally youthful visage, slender form, and ample bust so chose that moment to exact revenge by punching me repeatedly in the ribcage with brutal force. From inside me.

(Sad trombone squared)

After this assault on my conviction and respiratory system I felt defeated such that I could not face the prospect of dinner with dear resident friend (though, this was due in large part to the suggestion that we have Sushi which I can enjoy only under the best of circumstances – these not being those – and defies my strong personal conviction that eating seafood in the desert is for suckers) and went straight back to my large soft hotel bed and knew no more that day, either.

In the morning, dear resident friend and I played golf. 

(Happy trombone?)

Which apparently, was all the good-time I could stand, because though I had hours of time and nothing pressing to get home for, I headed back there more or less forthwith; a brief living-room electric guitar concert notwithstanding.

And when I arrived, I badly wanted sleep. Because the 26 or so hours I got of it over the week-end was somehow insufficient.

But before I did, I sat at my altar and pulled a card. Mostly as a means of reflecting on my impetuous all-night adventure of the previous Thursday/Friday. The result was interesting, and gave me satisfying things to mull over. And I drifted off considering them.

Then I had what I would characterize as one of the few but clearly prophetic dreams of my life. 

You see, I dream all the time. About silly, mundane, absurd things. And I remember them, usually. For me, dreaming seems mostly to serve as outlet for my intense social paranoia; everyone in my dreams is usually angry/disgusted/cruel toward me. Even perfectly lovely people who have never expressed a moment’s displeasure with me in real life.

So this was different.

In my dream I sat with my deck in front of me and I pulled one tarot card and then another. The first was “The Raven” and the other was “The Rook” 

Now, apart from the fact that neither of these cards actually exist, a Rook is essentially a carrion Crow. Meaningfully here, a bird that thrives on the discarded. That can create life from death. That can extract good from that which has been despoiled.

When I woke, I was struck by the symbolism in the dream, which was in itself rare and I got up to look at Raven medicine:

Magic, Healing, Creation

If a raven totem has come into our life,

magic is at play.

Raven activates the energy of magic

and links it to our will and intention.

 With this totem, we can make great changes

in our life; the ability to take the unformed thought and make it reality.

 The raven shows us how to go into the dark

of our inner self and bring out the light of our true self;

resolving inner conflicts which have long been buried.

This is the deepest power of healing we can possess

So very much of what I have been working to achieve lies in this very quarter. To journey into the dark to reclaim myself whole and entire, from where I abandoned me at the behest of well-meaning but unknowing others. Those I trusted in place of myself.

The Rook reminds me of the things which have passed out of usefulness. Which have been discarded, but for the meaty sustaining truths which they have held for me. The Raven speaks to my capacity to create healing after a journey through darkness and manifest the joy I have been seeking.

And all the signs from the wider world are that this work is about to have momentous results. That to embody myself fully again will call forth all that I have been hoping to create in my life for so many years. I feel the force behind my will; the power of my prayers. I am my own and able to claim what serves me and set free all that does not. 

To journey through darkness on inky wings to come once again into the light.


This hexagram describes your situation in terms of rising to a higher level, It emphasizes that setting a [loftier] goal and working toward it step by step is the adequate way to handle it. To be in accord with the time you are told to ascend!

I-Ching (Ritsema & Karcher)  


At times when I am set a-tilt, I often turn to oracle for advice, wisdom, and direction. My first step is usually to settle myself at my altar and pull a tarot card or two. Though it is always comforting, I am occasionally too distracted, overwrought, or invested in hoping for a particular outcome to absorb the lesson it tries to convey. When I remain stymied, I call upon the I-Ching for clarification.

Somehow the hexagram always shines truth with absolute clarity where the tarot can be shrouded in layers of meaning not always readily apparent; the I-Ching demands very little to be understood, and the cards claim more attention for greater reward. Each method carries its unique benefits and detriments, so using them situationally, and in concert seems to yield the best results. 

And it seems, at this time, I am meant to exceed my own expectations; to strive for more than I have asked of or for myself. A weighty admonition, but one I finally feel strong enough to bear. 

Onward, and upward

By Mother Mother


This. Now. Always.


My new standard, motto, and most ardent hope.


After winter, must come spring…

I woke up to a lightbulb; every little thing is possible;

I woke up to a feeling; every little thing has meaning;

Now I’m gonna use my two hands; I’m gonna move a mountain;

I woke up to a lightbulb on; every little thing is possible now:


Love is a bright idea; Love is a brilliant plan;

I built my life around a bright idea;

I built my life around the love that I’ve found.


I woke up to a new day; every little thing gonna go my way

I woke up to a perfect thought; Every little thing in a perfect spot

Now I ‘m gonna use my own voice; I’m gonna sing the song of my choice


I woke up to a lightbulb on; everything is possible now:

Love is a bright idea; Love is a brilliant plan;

I built my life around a bright idea;

I built my life around the love that I’ve found.


I’m gonna use my two feet; I’m gonna walk to my own beat


I woke up to a lightbulb on; every little thing is possible, hey!

Love is a bright idea; Love is a brilliant plan;

I built my life around a bright idea (yes I have);I built my life around the love that I’ve found.

This is not actually a rose

This is the fourth Sunday of Lent, and as it happens, the sole moment in this somber season where we are encouraged to contemplate joy and hope. This is sometimes represented by a golden rose, and though I couldn’t find one of those, these little blossoms were just as eloquent.

I don’t speak much about my faith, or my religious beliefs. Indeed I suspect it would shock more than a few people to realize I have them at all. I do. They haven’t remained static over the years, and I have spent long days wandering in the darkness, but I have never lost the persistent sense that I am the beloved (if often wayward) child of a benevolent creator. I haven’t always known how to interpret, let alone communicate what that means for me, but I have decided to try.

On January 2nd of the year 2000, I was driving home from Seattle with my then husband and our 7 month old daughter. We had spent the new year with his family, and were headed home on an utterly typical rainy Sunday. As we passed through Kelso, I encountered some ruts in the freeway that had filled with rainwater. My speed was probably close to 60mph and I was in the fast lane when the tires lost contact with the pavement and we began to hydroplane. I lost control of the car completely. No amount of pulling the wheel this way or that had any effect on the motion of the vehicle. What began was an interminable moment of complete silence as the car spun to the right and rotated 360 degrees across all three southbound lanes until we collided with the retaining wall on the far right shoulder. It was a substantial bump, and though the car was disabled, none of us were injured.

While I was initially just relieved that we were all unharmed, it soon began to sink in what had really happened. We sat there by the side of the freeway for another hour, waiting for the tow truck to arrive, for the police officer that came to help us to agree that we were allowed to leave the scene. All that time I sat watching the highway, transfixed, as semi-trucks, triple trailer long haul vehicles, passenger cars, minivans, all thundered by. At no point during that long hour was there ever a break in traffic like the one present as we spun across Interstate 5. At no other point was there a moment when we would not have been killed by the circumstances we skidded into.

My reaction to this was one of profound panic. I had almost killed us. It was my fault; I had been driving, I was to blame. Nervermind that it was clearly a combination of the weather, the condition of the road, and a not-as-straight-as-it-could-be frame on the reconstructed Subaru we’d just bought; no, unquestionably, it was my fault.

As I contemplated all of the implications of my having Almost Killed Us All, I arrived at some strange conclusions. I decided I ought not continue to nurse my infant daughter, since I was unreliable enough to almost cause her death, I did not want to be her sole source of sustenance anymore. I decided I shouldn’t drive anymore, even though my husband readily acknowledged I was the safer, more cautious, and less accident prone of the two of us. I was utterly in misery, and I did not know how I could live with myself for having Almost Killed Us All, no matter what anyone said to reassure me.

One night, as I sat awake ruminating and feeling as awful as I have ever felt, a small quiet tendril of a thought began to awaken in me. That rather than this being some evidence that I was irresponsible, or that I had done something careless, that this was something else entirely; this was the hand of God having intervened directly to enact a miracle.

And as soon as this thought crossed my weary and troubled mind, I knew it for Truth, and my life has never been the same since.

This is not to say, that I have not forgotten that this happened, or what it awoke in me. I was talking to someone about my relationship with God just recently, and when he asked me about when I have felt close to, or touched by the Presence in my life, I told him an entirely different (though no less True) story. It wasn’t until I was sitting in mass this morning, looking up at the dome in St Patrick’s that I remembered this revelation, this miracle.

And there have been other moments, quieter things, that have confirmed the existence of a loving and beneficent God. But they too are hard to express, complicated to articulate and imbue with the proper sense of Truth. To explain how they have changed me.

What I do know, is that when I am still, and open myself as wholly as I can, I am always able to feel the presence of God. The sense of his hand in my life is palpable whenever I can pause and choose to see it and to feel it.

And so I have been pausing, and practicing the sacred work of opening myself to that awareness. That is the core of my faith; that all the love, grace, and peace that can seem so hard to find has always been there, waiting for me to receive it.

So hope and joy indeed, blossom there.

To correct beyond what is needed, appropriate, or usual, especially when resulting in a mistake.

American Heritage Dictionary

Also, meaningful;

An over-compensation of a mechanical fault during the performance of a motor skill.

Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science & Medicine

I am full of myself. Vain. Arrogant. I have unwarranted self-confidence and an insufferable tendency to boast. Even the very exercise I am now engaged in, all too closely mimics mental masturbation, eh?

Ah, me.

But it is unquestionably the case that this is the result of a swerve, wild and desperate, that I have not yet gotten a handle upon. Meant to avoid remaining bedraggled and bruised, pitiable and pathetic, lost in self-loathing. It was a coping mechanism, not so unusual, to try and repair damage untold, as dealt by indifferent parenting and unenviable circumstance. But like most things meant to help us cope, if we rely on them too heavily, they create a host of new problems which must then be confronted; mastered.

I believe my braggodocio springs in no small part from an odd quirk of mine that developed as a result of my “mechanical fault.” While quite small I was functionally blind. I could see shapes and light and color, but nothing was in focus, and there was two of everything. It made it nearly impossible for me to navigate in the world. I wasn’t totally sightless, so I didn’t rely as heavily on my other senses as I could have. I was constantly running into things, falling down, tripping, and generally hurting myself repeatedly through my stubborn determination to get where I was going, under my own steam and at top speed.

My older sister, and mother, took to shouting warnings at me when I was about to run into trouble. Brandy particularly took it upon herself to follow me around and warn me when I was about to bump into something, when there was danger I might fall, or if there was something I could trip over in my path. As noble as her efforts were, I have noticed that it has instilled in me a need to hear something, before I can truly absorb it. I do not trust the evidence of my other senses quite so thoroughly. Additionally, it has created a tendency to rely on the assertions of other people altogether too much when evaluating my self-worth, circumstances, or correct course of action.

So, I say what I want to believe, that I can hear it and thus accept it as true. I say it to other people in hopes they will agree with me and give the declaration greater credence. My assertions are almost always uncertainty waiting to become assurance.

And I will not claim to have ever even tried humility on for size. I think I bridled at the notion of it, seeing it as somehow in conflict with my favorite virtue Truth. To fail to pronounce my strengths, as well as my many, sundry faults, would be to deny the truth of who and how I am. When I encountered the trait in people I admired, I always found it baffling:

“But, you’re awesome!! Why aren’t you telling everyone in earshot??”

Because it turns out, most people don’t require this kind of mechanism to believe good things about themselves. They just sort of do. They prefer to demonstrate their worth by their deeds, quietly and with grace.

Someone recently mentioned to me that their approach to life was to underpromise and overdeliver. I saw firsthand evidence of how lovely it could be to be on the other side of that course. The surprise and sense of discovery were profoundly satisfying. And it dawned on me that I have denied anyone who has ever met me the pleasure of that sort of revelation. I am so quick to tell them all there is to know about me, they have no chance to see and decide for themselves. This is especially important when I am forced to admit that not everything I “know” about myself is true for everyone else.

And I am tempted, for the first time, to try this humility thing after all. To pull the wheel slowly towards center, and proceed…

“The Victory of Mercy, The Mercy of Victory” The Witches Tarot Ellen Cannon Reed

Transition is difficult, under the best of circumstances. Even the most desirable change that leads to the best possible results can be painful, frightening, and trying. Telling yourself that the process is necessary doesn’t always make it any easier.

In the symbolism of the tarot, death virtually never signifies an actual physical passing. Instead it is meant to exemplify the need for one of these transitions to occur. Usually the message of this archetype is that change is coming, and to fight it will only make the process more difficult and traumatic. It is meant to try and gentle the experience, but we are so often deeply committed to our patterns, even if they are awful and ugly, that we will resist to the end of our strength, and in defiance of our own best interests.

And so the mercy we must show, is often toward ourselves. The kindness to allow the change to happen, and thus to grow and move toward what serves us and away from what does not. The victory is in the reward for doing so; growth, progress, and hopefully greater wisdom to take with us going forward.

There will come a time,

you’ll see, with no more tears.

And love will not break your heart,

but dismiss your fears.

Get over your hill and see

what you find there.

With grace in your heart

and flowers in your hair…

Mumford & Sons~

Just a little prayer, set to music. I am ready for this storm to be over.